I'm lucky enough to call Candace "Candy" Havens a friend. I'm luckier still to be celebrating with her her latest release Dragons Prefer Blondes. If you've read Candace, you know that she writes wicked smart and kick-ass heroines that keep you entertained and flipping the pages. If you haven't read her, well she has this great new book out so you can remedy that.

Order it now! These books make great gifts.
Order from Amazon
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Here's a teaser video that I made for Candace for the series. Her stories make it way easy to make fun videos.

~ Jake is absolutely fantastic! I loved him in The Demon King and I, but I LOVED him in Dragons Prefer Blondes. Can you tell us a secret about him that no one else knows?

I took it out of the first draft, but Jake loves to play XBox 360. He's absolutely obsessed with the Madden and Tiger Woods games. I swear, if I get to do more of these books I'm going to write a scene with Jake and Bailey Caruthers, the younger brother of my Guardian Keys, playing some kind of video game on the big screen.

LOL, I would love to see a scene like that. I can imagine how into the games they would get.

~ I know that you’ve celebrated many “wins” since your writing career took off, and you give a lot back to other writers. What has been one of the biggest rewards, personal or professional, that you’ve experienced in your writing career?

Honestly, for me, when people like you succeed, those are some of my greatest moment. The talent is all yours, but I like to think that maybe I gave you a 'little' push in the right direction. I set up the Write_Workshop to help other writers, because I had such wonderful mentors. Seeing you guys published is beyond cool for me.

Aww. And you didn't give me a 'little' push in the right direction. You gave me a huge one. Every time I thought about stopping or giving up, your voice was in my head encouraging me.

~ You've branched out and written a Blaze that’s coming out in February. I'm sure it's changed since I read your first draft (that I loved), but can you tell us a little bit about that?

It's called "Take Me If You Dare." It's a about a female detective who happens to run into a burned CIA agent in Bangkok. He helps her solve her case, and then escapes with her to beach resort. There's intrigue, lots of hot, sexy romance and some pretty funny characters.

~ What else do you have in the works? Please tell me there are more Caruthers Sisters books in the works?
I have proposals in for the next two Caruthers sisters books, and a couple in for some more Bronwyn/Kira books. Right now I'm working on the next Blaze, and a YA. The two books couldn't be more different, but then I like that.

~ Will you please pretty please with chocolate coating on top share an excerpt from Dragons Prefer Blondes with us?


Guardians protect Earth from other worlds. We are the first line of defense against those who want to harm humanity.

Add in the fact that we put our lives on the line every day and that the rest of the universe really doesn’t care for humans, and you have to figure only a crazy person would be a Guardian.

That’s definitely true. But I get to face down dragons, so it’s not all bad. These aren’t the dragons of myths and legends. The Ahi, which is their scientific name, come in all shapes and sizes. They are intelligent beings for the most part, but they have a warrior attitude that makes them hardheaded beasts.

It’s my job to make certain they behave—and take them out if they won’t. I’m not alone. My sisters are also Guardians who protect the rest of the world from creatures that would scare the pee right out of you.

We’re a tight-knit group, which comes in handy, since we’re in the middle of a big battle with evil trying to take over the universe. I’m talking darkness like we’ve never seen before. It hides in the most innocuous places and strikes at will. Scary stuff.

Don’t worry. We Caruthers sisters have a plan. Extinguish the evil and put its sad, sorry ass in a sling. Trust me, we can do this. Anyone who can run in four-inch Prada heels and kill a dragon can certainly save the world from the big bad.

Chapter One

“Alex, I’m getting married.” Aspen Randall screeched in my ear, her voice so high I could barely understand her. It didn’t help that I was holding the cell between my shoulder and ear as I pulled a dragon carcass out of the snow and into an industrial-strength trash bag. I was in front of a beautiful cathedral in Montreal, and thankfully, the streets were empty.

When Aspen called I thought it was one of my sisters, so I’d picked it up without looking. I mean who the hell calls in the wee hours of the morning if they aren’t family?

It dawned on me that I hadn’t responded to her comment. “What a happy surprise. Who’s the lucky guy?” I pretended to be excited. Aspen went through men as fast as she changed shoes, so I couldn’t be sure who had been either brave or stupid enough to chance going down that path with the woman.

“Silly girl, Lord Huffington, of course. That means a big ole royal wedding for me.” She squealed again, and I wondered if I might need a hearing aid after this conversation. “We’ve been dating for three months, and we just can’t wait to get married.”

I sighed—on the inside. From what I knew about him, Huff was a stuck-up aristocrat who probably wanted to marry Aspen for her money. Everyone knew that his family had been struggling for years. His father’s investments were rot, and Huff had seemed more intent on living the playboy life than saving his family fortune.

Then again, Aspen probably knew all that. She just wanted to be called Lady Huffington. I’d met her ten years ago at a birthday party for my sister, Gillian, and Aspen declared us instant pals. My mother insisted I be nice, so I went along with the charade, which turned out to be a huge mistake.

Aspen was as shallow as they came, but she was one of those poor little rich girls. At the ripe old age of fourteen, I’d figured out pretty quickly that her parents had given her everything except love. I felt sorry for her, so when she wanted to hang out, I always tried to be there for her. “Wow. That’s—wow. I don’t know what to say.”

“I know, right? Beyond cool. Daddy says we can have a wedding in the States and at the castle in England. I can have the fairy tale twice.”

Oh, my God. My heart went out to her wedding planner. “Well, that is wild.” I slid the dragon, which was still warm to the touch, into the garbage bag. Thankfully, he’d been in human form, except for the talons, or he wouldn’t have fit. I had caught him inside the cathedral stealing a gold cross from the altar.

Dragons, demons, fairies, and a variety of other creatures had been giving my sisters and me hell the last few months. They were after treasures on Earth, and it was a constant battle to keep them from stealing. None of us knew exactly why these creatures wanted the valuables, but we felt certain it had something to do with the darkness trying to take over the universe. We are all Guardian Keys, and while it’s our job to protect Earth from these jerks, lately it had turned into a full-time occupation.

I had the element of surprise on my side and was able to sneak up on him while he was busy stealing, but he went scaly fast. He managed a couple of good strikes against me before he died. With dragons it was almost always a fight to death. They never backed down.

The snow swirled around me, wet and cold. The damn dragon was slippery and almost too big for the bag. I had to shove it down with my boot.

“Soooo,” Aspen trilled. “Since you are the premiere party planner and one of my dearest friends, I want you to do it all. Everything down to the last detail.” She squealed again, and I dropped the phone into the bag with the dead dragon.

No, no, no. The last thing I needed right now was to plan a wedding for a woman who had to have at least six choices of outfits for each day. She had two full-time stylists who could barely keep up with her. Planning Aspen’s wedding—I’d rather fight a cadre of dragons with my bare hands.

I fished out the phone and wiped off the dragon goo. Pushing the speaker function so I didn’t have to hold it close to my face, I prepared to put her off. “Oh, Aspen, hon, really I’d love too, but—”

“I knew you would.” She cut me off. “Oh, the jet’s here. I have to run. I’ll e-mail you with the dates. Did I mention we want to do it before the end of the month? And my color choices. I’m in a strawberry mood right now, so think luscious red with lots of white, and maybe some pink. Oh, I don’t know, maybe more of a sapphire since it’ll be a winter wedding. I’ll think about it on my way to London to see the castle. Ta! Oh, listen to me, I sound like English royalty already.”

The line went dead.

I snorted. Aspen was in for a rude awakening when she saw that castle. The last time I’d been there was four years ago for a charity event. I’d stayed in the dusty, drafty hunk of stone for one night and swore never to do it again.

The Contest: You didn't think I would forget to have a contest did you? Here's how it will work. Chat it up with Candace. Chat, chat, chat. Should you feel the desire to Twitter about this book/blog/video, come here and let us know that you did. Post a link to it on facebook, MySpace, your own blog, all those good things. Come here and tell us where you put it. Every place you post a link gets you entered into the drawing. (Candace even has a great round of contests on her site including a message for you to send out to your friends. Check it out here.

The winner will receive a signed copy of both of Candace's Guardian Key books.

Ready, set, CHAT!!

Comments (39)

On July 9, 2009 at 7:35 AM , Margay said...

Hi, Candace! It sounds like you have your hands full with the Caruthers sisters, so how will you find time to write a YA book? Can you give us a hint of what it will be about? And what made you decide to write in that genre?


On July 9, 2009 at 7:39 AM , Margay said...

I posted a link to this on my Facebook profile:



On July 9, 2009 at 7:40 AM , Margay said...

I tweeted about it here:



On July 9, 2009 at 8:17 AM , Candace said...

Hello Hooked On Romance Friends!

First, thanks you guys for doing this!

Margay, as for the YA, I can tell you it has a lot of magic, and a very funny young girl. I can't share much more because it's a very different concept. I also have a YA I'm revising about a young girl who has to take care of Zombies.

I love that YA voice and read a lot of it lately.

On July 9, 2009 at 8:20 AM , Margay said...

So do I, Candace! Plus, I am venturing into this area myself with a couple of ideas. I will have to keep an eye out for yours - I'm intrigued already!

On July 9, 2009 at 8:26 AM , RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for sharing :)
That a terrific video and I love the excerpt. I can't wait to read this book.
Is Alex Caruthers based on yourself or parts of yourself?
Love From Canada

On July 9, 2009 at 8:52 AM , Nikki Duncan said...

Good morning everyone! Hi Candy, thanks for being here! Have I mentioned lately how much I love you and your books?

On July 9, 2009 at 9:00 AM , Qwill said...

Hi, Candace.

Congrats on the release of Dragons Prefer Blondes!

How do you keep track of your characters and plot lines?

Tweeted here: http://twitter.com/QQwill

On July 9, 2009 at 9:26 AM , Candace said...

RK, Alex is based on a friend of mine, though I'll never admit who exactly. :-) But I do think a little bit of me slips into all my characters. :-)

Nikki, that adoration is mutual!

Qwill, I keep a notebook. I can't remember anything any more. So it stays with me all the time. :-)

On July 9, 2009 at 9:50 AM , Saoirse Redgrave said...


I'm very much looking forward to meeting you at RWA--will you be signing Dragons Prefer Blondes at the Literacy Signing?

I'd love to pick it up and have you autograph it, you sound like much more than just an author, but also a motivational force! :-)

Also, how necessary do you think it is (given the emerging YA market) for authors to seriously consider getting in touch with that younger aspect of their voice? (My debut series is YA and I'm seeing lots of folks transitioning.)


On July 9, 2009 at 10:09 AM , Nikki Duncan said...

Hmm, do I know the friend? I could definitely see some of your character in Alex. :) And Gilly.

On July 9, 2009 at 10:12 AM , Candace said...

Saoirse, I can't wait to read your book, I've heard so much about it.

I do plan to sign Dragons Prefer Blondes at the Literacy signing!

As for the YA, I do see a lot of mainstream and romance authors headed that way. I think it's a great thing because we'll be bringing those young readers in the adult book too.

I laughed when you said getting in touch. It's funny, I don't feel much different than when I was 16 about a lot of things, though I hope I am much, much wiser. Let's just say, for me, it's a very easy voice to slip into. :-)

On July 9, 2009 at 10:37 AM , Gail said...

Hello Candice, I must confess I have somehow missed your books in the past:-( Your books sound like fun reads. I've just put your books on my list of must gets. I do have a question: How many sisters are there and do they all have the same fighting styles or do they compliment each other?

On July 9, 2009 at 10:41 AM , Regina Richards said...

Hi Candace,

Just the title alone would make me want to grab this novel and take it to the check out, but the cover art is also fabulous. This looks and, from the except reads, like a really fun ride.

On July 9, 2009 at 10:45 AM , Gail said...

Hello again...I posted a link to this on my facebook page.


On July 9, 2009 at 10:45 AM , Candace said...

Gail, There are four sisters and one brother. They all have to use different fighting styles, but they still spar with one another. Most of them know several different kinds of martial arts, and they are all adept with various kinds of weapons. :-)

Regina, if nothing else, I will always take you on a fun ride. :-)

On July 9, 2009 at 11:11 AM , Vicki said...

The books sound great. I've linked to this on my twitter page @Vickilane

On July 9, 2009 at 12:50 PM , EdgesAngel23 said...

This book looks awesome!! I can't wait to read it, the whole series looks great!
Ashley A

On July 9, 2009 at 12:55 PM , Nikki Duncan said...

You guys are all so awesome to help spread the word about Candy's book(s)!

By the way guys, if you're in the Dallas area, Candy has a booksigning this Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Hurst. I believe it's from 2:00 to 4:00. You should swing by. Her signings are always like parties with lots of goodies.

Regina, will you be able to make it?

On July 9, 2009 at 1:06 PM , My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Candace!

I can't wait to see what you come up with for a YA novel, I love YA. Maybe because I lets me relive childhood and fairy tales. What do you think, I've noticed lots of authors venturing into this territory and now I'm curious!

It's all good as far as I can see, and many of the daughter's friends are here borrowing my books.

Can't to take a peek at your new book! I'll post the book trailer!

Dottie :)

On July 9, 2009 at 1:11 PM , My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

I've posted your contest and book trailer (too cool) on my blog at http://myblog2point0.blogspot.com/ :)



On July 9, 2009 at 1:15 PM , My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Also tweeted on gymmon_027, directing traffic your way!

Dottie :)

On July 9, 2009 at 2:24 PM , Candace said...

Hey Dottie,
Thank you!!!

And Nikki, you are awesome!

On July 9, 2009 at 2:35 PM , Chris J. said...

Hi Ladies!
Great blog with Candace and the book trailer rocked! :)
I have all the Browyn series and as of today the Demon King and I and Dragons Perfer Blondes!! Woo-hoo! The whole scene idea for the guys playing games would be cool.
I didn't know about the ya books! How did I miss that Candace??!!
So my question is what are they gonna be about and when will they be coming out? And did you say we may get more Browyn???? Oh please, I hope so. Those were the first ones I read and fell in love with your writing!
I truly hope you are having a Wonderful Release Week and Wish you many, many sells!!

On July 9, 2009 at 2:51 PM , Candace said...

EdgesAngels, Thanks I hope you like the books!

Chris J: I have to clean up the YA's so they can be shopped around to publishers. Haven't sold them yet. But I'm hopeful. They're basically just like my adult books, but a little less sex. LOL

On July 9, 2009 at 3:14 PM , flip said...

Thanks for the excerpt. I loved it. Sounds like hell to me to be the party planner for a shallow social climber with unlimited funds.

On July 9, 2009 at 4:45 PM , Candace said...

Flip, The whole idea for the wedding planner came from my Mom, who used to do it part time, in addition to her full-time job. And she LOVED it. I just can't think of anything worse. :-)

On July 9, 2009 at 5:39 PM , Nikki Duncan said...

This place has been busy. I love to see that. :)

Okay, so all you visitors that aren't chatting, tell us if you've read Candy's book. Is today the first time you've heard about her? If you bought the books or are planning on it, what captured your interest about them? It would after all be very sad if she changed something that we all loved. ;)

On July 9, 2009 at 10:15 PM , Caffey said...

I so loved the graphics in that trailer, I felt taken in with the water! That all was so neat!!

Awesome on the Blaze coming. I didn't know about that! I shall be watching for that too! I think your Blaze is going to be so unique with that blurb! What genre/theme you have planned for your YA Candace?

Great huge peek into your book. I love the humor in your voice. Was that always natural for you, part of your personality always? When do you remember or your family told you about your humorous side when you were younger? Anything that stood out?

I shall go put this video and link to more readers here for you! It will be up on my blog at http://caffeys-reads.blogspot.com I'll too put up on my myspace front page at http://myspace.com/auntcaffey . I love to share this!


On July 10, 2009 at 1:23 AM , iokijo said...

yes I'm trying to hit all the blogs you've posted..lol
This series sounds so fantastic.. congrats on your release.
I'm not a facebook/myspace person.. I tell anybody that I know might like para. by email/phone/face to face.. I've just started on twitter so I wouldn't count that.
What caught my interest? the titles then the covers then the blurbs.. now I want them..
thanks for blogging. Hope your having fun
ioki_jo at hotmail dot com

On July 10, 2009 at 2:30 AM , Eva S said...

These covers are so beautiful, and the books sound great! This is a new-to-me author, I'd love to read the books!

On July 10, 2009 at 8:28 AM , Candace said...

Caffey... I think I'm a funny person naturally... My family might disagree. :-)

Iokijo: I hope you get them and enjoy them... Make sure you email me and let me know.

Eva, I love that I have found some new readers. I really hope you enjoy the books!

On July 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM , Wendy said...

Candy, I'm totally psyched about the new book. Woohoo! And Nikki's right: you give back so much to your fellow writers, we can't help but wish you every success in the world.

BTW, stuffing a dragon carcass into a heavy-duty trash bag? *snort*

On July 10, 2009 at 10:11 AM , Nikki Duncan said...

Wow, this has been a busy place. I love it!!

Okay, the winner(s) have been chosen and because there are so many of you, we'll be doing 2 giveaways.

The winners are:
Saoirse and Flip

Email me at nikki@nikkiduncan.com to claim your prize. If you want them autographed and personalized, email me today. I will be seeing Candy tomorrow. :)

On July 10, 2009 at 10:29 PM , Lori T said...

Hi Candace~

The Demon King and I and Dragons Prefer Blondes both sound really great and I am looking forward to reading them.

I hope that you have a wonderful time at RWA...I keep hoping that one day I will get to attend a conference like this.

I am looking forward to learning more about your YA when you are able to discuss it more. I love YA...there is just so much great stuff out there right now.

On July 11, 2009 at 11:37 AM , pams00 said...

These look like such great reads. I'd loved to be entered!

I posted to my facebook:

tweeted it:

Pam S

On July 11, 2009 at 9:46 PM , Pamk said...

sounds like a great read.I've had this one in tbb list for a while. hope to get to it soon. And the ya story about the zombie sounds good. I know there are three of us in my house that would love it lol.

On July 12, 2009 at 11:52 AM , Pamk said...

tweeted this on www.twitter.com/Pamk258

On July 15, 2009 at 4:01 PM , Caffey said...

Hi Candace! I so love reading about this series! I love your voice from your earlier series I so enjoyed! Neat on the Blaze book! I shall be watching for that one too! Is there plans for more, like more detective stories from the first book? If this was asked already, then ignore me, LOL, but love to hear about your theme for your YA books!

I posted it all over!
My blog on side:
and twittered it w/CaffeyCaffey